Government to establish Commission of Investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse against Bill Kenneally

Bill Kenneally

The government is to set up a Commission of Investigation into the response to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Bill Kenneally.

The former basketball coach is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence in relation to 10 sample counts of indecent assault against minors which took place in the 1980s.

The Houses of the Oireachtas will now be required to pass motions so that the Commission can be formally established.

It is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

Retired Circuit Court Judge Barry Hickson has been appointed by Government as Commission chair.

Once the Commission of Investigation is established, it is anticipated that it will take up to one year to report.

"This is an important day for the survivors of abuse committed by Bill Kenneally," said Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan.

"I and my officials have consulted closely with the victims and their legal representatives on the draft Terms of Reference which Cabinet noted today.

As Minister for Justice and Equality, I am particularly conscious of the importance of ensuring the Commission does not impact upon any pending criminal prosecutions and, accordingly, I have consulted with the Attorney General and the DPP who will monitor the Commission proceedings.

"I have always been conscious of balancing the rights of the survivors who have come forward and made allegations more recently to have their allegations fully investigated against the rights of those who have sought to have these very important matters investigated by a Commission.

"It is my intention to seek time in both Houses of the Oireachtas in the next fortnight for a debate on these issues and a vote on the necessary Motions.

"Once the approval of both Houses is received, the Government will formally set and publish the Terms of Reference and establish the Commission of Investigation.

It is my intention to have the Commission established as soon as possible.

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